Updated: Dec 28, 2019
Glam Goal Business
7 minute read
As a business owner I have experienced a lot of things that I now consider learning lessons. I'd like to keep you from making the same mistakes with these 5 crucial tips.
1. FIND THE NEED THAT YOUR PRODUCT FULFILLS AND LEAD WITH IT
Understand that your product cannot remedy all problems. As an owner we want to accommodate our customers and may even go out of our way to create a product that we usually wouldn’t. My candles were created to fill the need of relaxation and to remedy dry skin as an all-natural moisturizer. They are massage oil candles made for your skin, and still even better for your home. They are soy based and not paraffin wax which are known to hold more fragrance. I bout killed myself trying to compete with major brands that filled your whole entire house. The candles I make pack a mean punch but know they will not spill outside to your front porch. Most of the other brands burn toxins that are not good for you to breathe in and guess what, you can’t put those on your skin for massages. So understand what makes your product unique and lead with that letting clients know this may not be the product for you. It’s ok you can’t win them all.
2. PROTECT YOUR PRODUCT
Learn to delegate tasks that you’re not good at! Yes this your new born baby and you are skeptical of those who want to touch it. I get it, but grab that lifesaver before you drown. Also, protect your product and don’t give away too much when pitching your product. Skeptical consumers ask more questions to small business owners than they do about that skinny tea or coffee they drink on a daily. I have learned that most want a deal and don’t really value your product or are trying to duplicate your product. Trust I have experienced both. Gave away info and a week later Sis is out selling candles, more than three times!! I’ve sold candles and found that they were given to people without my logo. “Are you actually making a profit, Where do you get your fragrances? This smells good how do you make these, so what about the wicks and jars”. Now, I start to tell them these are questions that I answer for investors, where are your coins Sis!? Not to be mean, but to protect my product.
3. RESEARCH VENDOR EVENTS
Whew Chile… we’ve all experienced vendor events that have been amped up by the event host and you show up and only 5 people walk through the door. It happens, but to prevent this from happening make sure you do your part and research. Ask them how many came to their other events, maybe it’s their first one. Find comments and photos of other vendors who attended. Look at the quality of the flyer and the likes and do your part to share. Ask them who is their target audience, and know the type of people they are inviting and make sure it’s in line with your target audience. I wasted a ton of money in vendor fees hopping on the next event to make coins only to waste my time and not recover my fee. Ask yourself am I here to make a profit or am I here to collect data and network. Speak up and don’t allow vendors to break contracts. I’ve experienced paying for inside room table and being placed in a hallway cause they ran out of inside room space. “Run me my money then, since you ran out of space!” LOL I didn’t say that, but I’ve learned to speak up or leave. Don’t be afraid to give feedback to vendors about their event and don’t be afraid to ask for it back.
4. LEARN TO SAY NO!
Say NO and be ok with it! This includes family and friends. Be firm in your NO and gain the confidence from them by providing a great quality product that they will feel is worth buying without asking for a discount. “No I can’t give you this for free, no I can’t give you 50 free candles for an event, no I can’t give you a candle for your birthday if you never have purchased one or shared a post.” Half the time they didn’t know I had a website. LOL, I failed at that. I’m willing to help and flex a little but I learn to limit how often I do this. I always appreciate the support of those who purchase without a deal, willing to share posts, and tell me to charge more and to know my value. Show them love, but be mindful of others.
5. STOP GIVING AWAY FREE PRODUCTS
My #1 failure!!! Gain genuine relationships and don’t just hand out products to people who are not in your target audience. I went to a Black Enterprise conference gave my pitch to a speaker who owns a couples therapy company and offered him a free candle and he declined to take it! It hurt my feelings a little but he gave me the most important advice ever. STOP GIVING AWAY FREE PRODUCT. He said “You don’t know me from a can of paint, you don’t have any contact or follow up info on me and you don’t know what I will do with your product once it’s in my hand.” Know your customers!!! It’s great to give samples here and there but make sure you collect an email list, photos for your website or at least have a way to follow up. Allot a budget for how may samples and free products you will give out annually. I will instead volunteer my time, share a post for engagement or attend the event to support, but free product is not always the answer. I give back internationally each year and my product is no longer free! I see a lot of goodie bag posts with no benefit to the business owner, Sis! we are helping each other here. LOL, I have some great experiences with this in which I still have great relationships with the event host don’t get me wrong, but there are those who will get over. I can’t count how many times I gave away samples to large companies and frequent buyers that promised their clients will buy something and never did. LOL I laugh now at how naive I was and sometimes blame myself for not doing my part to follow up. Be prepared for this.